repent-homophobia
Church of England

Gay marriage: Bishops can’t be bullied with demands for “greater clarity and consistency”

As the College of Bishops gathers in Oxford today, the world might be forgiven for thinking there was just one item on the agenda: the liturgical blessing of same-sex unions (sometimes called ‘gay marriage’), which is considered by many to be necessary for “full inclusion” of LGBT (LGBTI/LGBTIQ) people. Letters have been flying around urging the Bishops to make “unequivocal” statements one way or the other, often couched in the manipulative language of urgency and injustice, harm and hurt – either to individuals or to the church’s apostolic heritage. If the Bishops move toward revisionist demands, the Church of England faces schism. If the status quo is sustained, harm and hurt are perpetuated through disapproval and exclusion. Equality is a theology of rocks and hard places.

Whatever the media distortions and obsessions, it’s important to note than no shouty lobbying group speaks for the Church of England (or, indeed, for the Worldwide Anglican Communion). There’s a perception of a ‘hard right’ conservative-traditionalist lobby, represented by GAFCON and the views of people like the former Archbishop of Sydney, Peter Jensen, for whom “marriage between a man and a woman is one of God’s blessings”. This is unequivocal. And then there’s the liberal-progressive lobby (rarely portrayed as ‘hard left’), represented by Changing Attitude and the views of people like the Rev’d Colin Coward, for whom the “homophobic” Church of England perpetuates “systematic prejudice” against LGBT Christians by resisting same-sex marriage. This, too, is unequivocal. Both sides want to hear some kind of great gay Chalcedonian definition coming out of Oxford this week. They will be disappointed.

The College of Bishops consists of all bishops of the Church of England – diocesan and suffragan – and a number of views will be represented. Some favour a bold shift toward full acceptance of gay marriage, as society has changed and they believe the church must adapt to the new relational reality. Others seek to sustain the church’s essential catholicity and traditional understanding of marriage. As the Archbishop of Canterbury explained, same-sex marriage involves a number of category errors and fundamental contradictions: “The concept of marriage as a normative place for procreation is lost. The idea of marriage as covenant is diminished. The family in its normal sense, predating the state and as our base community of society.. is weakened.” Doubtless such views are considered homophobic by the Bishop of Buckingham.

Nothing will change this week, except that a hundred-or-so bishops will pray, explore, ponder and reflect on two years of ‘Shared Conversations’ around a myriad of complex issues of human sexuality. Some demands for greater clarity and consistency can certainly be met: there will be no change in the church’s marriage liturgy, and there is no problem at all in saying, unequivocally, that LGBT Christians are “essential to the health and future of our Church and mission to the wider world”. But the College of Bishops is not gathering to reach unanimity, or to be bullied into consensus, or to draft some kind of great ‘progressive’ Anglican same-sex declaration. Sorry to disappoint.

Perhaps, however, the Bishops might be nudged to repudiate the truthiness and hyperbole on both sides of this debate, which is the real cause of much harm and hurt. The Church of England is not a threat to the “basic wellbeing” of LGBT people. To seek to preserve the sanctity of holy matrimony is not to ‘hate’. To hunger for sexual orthodoxy is not ‘bigotry’. To argue for Christian tradition is not ‘homophobic’. To resist moral relativism and oppose cultural uniformity is not unloving. And to be orientated to the nurture of same-sex intimacy is not sin.

  • The Explorer

    Change ‘Anglicans’ to ‘Muslims’, and ‘Jesus’ to ‘Muhammad’ and go and display those placards outside a radical mosque.

    • Joe Stocker

      To be fair, Peter Tatchell would do that. Stonewall wouldn’t of course

      • The Explorer

        True. He still carries the honourable wounds of his encounter with the followers of Robert Mugabe.

    • Dreadnaught

      Fat Chance.

    • dannybhoy

      I do believe that what the recent posts and pictures actually reveal is that these anti Christian homosexual activists want to be seen
      That’s where they get their affirmation from; being in the limelight being in the public eye..
      I respect Peter, but look at ‘is ‘at. Doesn’t it scream ‘Screen style Revolutionary!’ ?
      Why for instance, does Eustace/Linus keep coming back?
      He rejects my suspicions, but offers no convincing counter argument. He has been here for ages throwing insults and hatred for some years now, and by and large we respond with a good grace.
      But back he comes..

      • The Explorer

        I’ve blocked him, but I can see he’s still around because ‘This user is blocked’ shows up from time to time on the screen. What you can’t see is the length of any particular rant.

        I’ll bet if I unblocked him in a couple of months time he’d still be saying the same thing. Eight different personas all saying the same thing eight different times. (Except for Tanaka, or whoever it was, who didn’t last long enough.)

      • Eustace

        I’ve explained my continuing presence here so many times that I’m not prepared to waste time doing it again. Especially when you’ll just ignore me anyway and carry on suggesting that I’m here because I want attention.

        Still, what else should I expect? Straight men who feel threatened always treat gays and women like hysterical attention seekers. It’s the way they try to discredit opponents whose arguments they can’t counter. When they attack the person rather than the argument, we know they’re on the defensive.

        Feeling a little insecure, are you? Better get used to it. I’m going nowhere.

        • dannybhoy

          “Feeling a little insecure, are you? Better get used to it. I’m going nowhere.”
          Oh, by all means stay Eustace. I for one am happy for you to stay. It’s just that having run through all your repertoire of arguments, accusations and insults and had them answered to the best of our ability; you still choose to stay.
          You deride us, call us bigots, vindictive, deluded etc. but you still love our cyber company. That’s great!
          But we are entitled to wonder why..

          • Eustace

            I’ve explained why. It’s certainly not because I enjoy the “company” here. Quite the reverse. But in the pursuance of a goal, small inconveniences like having to put up with bigots and homophobes can be tolerated with equanimity. I’ve been doing it all my life. The only difference between this place and the real world is that the number of bigots and homophobes per square metre is greater.

            Without me here, the only opposition to your Christian stroke-fest would be the odd one-liner from Sarky and the even more occasional pertinent comment from the chap with the Italian name that sounds like pasta sauce. Anyone stumbling onto this site, or being directed to it by bigots and homophobes eager to indoctrinate others into bigotry and homophobia, would therefore only get one side of the story. They need to know that for every Christian argument there’s a weightier, more reasonable secular counter-argument.

            So there you go, I’ve saved you the trouble of looking back through my posts to find my reasons for being here. Not that it will stop you from insinuating that I’m really here because you’re just so amazing and wonderful that I can’t stay away. Honestly, every time I think I’ve plumbed the depths of your delusion, I discover fathoms more below it, going down, down, down into the nethermost darkness of this fantasy world you’ve created for yourselves. Hindus and their “turtles all the way down” make more sense than Christians. At least their universe isn’t founded on a solid core of narcissistic self-regard.

          • dannybhoy

            Guggles is reasoned and polite. A joy to discuss with. Whereas you Eustace, are as grumpy as the day is long.

          • Although I am not with you Eustance, this reply brought a wry smile to my (not undistinguished) face.

          • dannybhoy

            “But in the pursuance of a goal, small inconveniences like having to put up with bigots and homophobes can be tolerated with equanimity. I’ve been doing it all my life. The only difference between this place and the real world is that the number of bigots and homophobes per square metre is greater.
            Garn, you wouldn’t stay here if you really disliked us -unless perhaps you’re doing a sociological study?
            You just can’t admit to yourself that despite our disagreements coming here gives you something to do in pleasant company…

          • Eustace

            “…pleasant company”

            ROFL!

            Pleasant? This motley crew of homophobes, misanthropes and religious fanatics?

            If this is what you call pleasant, you’ve clearly had a hard, hard life.

            There’s a whole world of pleasant out there beyond the confines of your tribal blood cult. But I wouldn’t recommend you sneak a look. After a lifetime of futile, sterile and dusty chantings and rituals, the fresh air of the real world might be too much for you. Wouldn’t want you to keel over from the shock of it.

          • dannybhoy

            Well of course the whole world KNOWS that no one has had as tough a life as you, and that we have all lived the dream, been loved to pieces by doting indulgent parents have no knowledge of discrimination, unemployment or

  • IanCad

    There is given nowhere in scripture, as far as I know, sanction for homo relationships. Yet there in the picture – lower right – is a sign proclaiming that homosexuality is “cool.” Translation: Better bent than straight.
    Give these perverts an inch and they will take a mile. Nothing but for all to worship at “The Church Of The Holy Bum” will satisfy them.
    Our liberal society, rightly, guarantees to all the privilege of engaging in pretty much whatever floats our boat. We will have to fight for the privilege of resisting these rabid supporters of the unnatural.

  • Inspector General

    Gay activists are in a bit of a quandary here. They hate Christianity and they hate the church (well, the mass majority of them do) and are desirous to see it taxed out of existence or just abolished, like Section 28. On the other hand, a newly queered church which has not only dropped all objections to their practices but becomes a positive force promoting homosexuality, trannyism and even, dare it be said, pederasty, would become a thing of value to them. A vanguard in the struggle, no less!

    Decisions, Decisions, eh!

  • Andrew Holt

    How unhelpful is the immoderate language of Ian Cad? The only beneficiaries from our disunity on this subject are the secularisers and the powers of darkness. We are to “maintain the unity of the body in the bonds of peace” and certainly not to “bite and devour one another.” Can the church not play to her strengths, listen to one another, respect one another and pray and discuss our differences. We have the Holy Spirit sent to guide us into all truth and as a consequence I believe there is a way to approach this that will bring glory to God and actually strengthen the work and witness of the church.

    • The Explorer

      “We have the Holy Spirit sent to guide us into all truth.” True. But then why are there disagreements between Catholics and Protestants, and Protestants between themselves? Why is there no consensus about women priests, gay bishops, what the Millennium is, or how the Elect are elected?

      Zwingli thought the Spirit would lead him into all truth, but then found that other believers, also believing themselves to be Spirit-led, came to conclusions different from his own.

    • IanCad

      I call them as I see them.
      Tell me Andrew; has pussyfooting curbed the march of the militant sexual fanatics?
      Are you going to cave?
      We are not counselled to compromise with those who threaten the very survival of, not only the church, but humanity itself.

      • Eustace

        Has calling it as you see it curbed the march of liberal secularism?

        Not so as you’d notice.

        Cave, don’t cave – what difference will it make?

        Whatever the Church decides now will make no difference to the legal and social framework our society is built on.

        It’s rather amusing watching you get passionate about something that won’t make a blind bit of difference to anyone but you and a few other reactionaries. Pass all the resolutions you like. Affirm whatever bit of homophobic theology you think needs to be affirmed. It won’t change anything, or halt any tide. You’ve been comprehensively outmaneuvered and outflanked, old boy. Gay marriage is coming to a church near you. Maybe not tomorrow. But soon enough.

        • IanCad

          I wouldn’t be so sure Eustace. Unless government – I don’t think it can – demands that churches marry same-sex couples. Then you may see the church mild turn into the church militant.
          BTW. You will get no argument from me about same-sex civil partnerships.

          • Eustace

            Pressure to marry same-sex couples in church isn’t coming from the government, but rather from within the ranks of the Church itself.

            There’s a sizable Christian minority, which may even be an effective majority among active CofE members (but not the Synod, at least not yet) in favour of solemnizing gay weddings in church.

            If I were you, I’d concentrate on dealing with them rather than worrying about government interference. Liberals have outflanked you on so many issues, there’s every chance they’ll outflank you on this one too.

          • IanCad

            You really think there are so many??!!
            I’ve been wrong before.

        • Tragically, I think you’re right. But since the C1, while the apostles were still living, the larger proportion of the professing church had turned from their message teaching and believing ideas that were simply an echo of their contemporary culture.

  • The Explorer

    I can think of at least eight different stances taken on this issue.

    1. God opposed homosexuality when God wanted the population built up. But now God is into green issues, save the planet etc and has changed His/Her/Its mind.

    2. God spoke about homosexuality through Paul.

    3. God didn’t speak about homosexuality through Paul.

    4. Gays who support same-sex marriage.

    5. Gays who don’t support same-sex marriage.

    6. Straights who support same-sex marriage.

    7. Straights who don’t support same-sex marriage.

    8. Those of all orientations who think marriage (and the Church, the Monarchy and God) should be abolished as an institution.

    Who’d be a bishop?

  • Dreadnaught

    Islamic Sharia the Koran and the Clerics get a free pass for motivating the prescriptive throwing homos off roofs but Anglicans carry the can. ‘Tis pity Tatchell and his chums don’t have to face a backlash of violence and intimidation from mobs of foaming Choristers or even a Fart-wa to worry about unlike Rushdie and Wilders et al.

    The games Bent Guv.

    • dannybhoy

      This is an interesting phenomenon. Why is it that Christians in general cop all the flak from the LGBTers, yet not a word is said against others who would do them physical harm?
      All over the Muslim world Christians are being abused, tortured, raped and murdered; but the LGBTers have nothing to say. Whether those outside the Church or in..

      • len

        Christians are’ a soft target’ they can be crucified, burned, tortured, raped, beheaded and the world remains silent why?….. because Christians are hated because they hold the witness of Jesus Christ who said “If they hated Me first they will also hate you”.

        Rather ironic that Christians are being accused of hate crimes on this very blog…

        • dannybhoy

          My commonsense tells me that hate is not a crime until you act on it. I don’t think disagreeing counts as an act of hate…

        • dannybhoy

          Len you are I think our resident prophecy buff. I thought you might find this article interesting. It’s about the prophet Daniel’s seventy times seven..
          http://free.messianicbible.com/feature/end-time-prophecy-will-peace-middle-east/

          • len

            Interesting .Bible Prophecies fulfilled regarding Jesus are rock solid proof that Jesus is exactly who He said He is.No one else can fulfil the prophecies Jesus did and If Jesus was not the Messiah there there will be no Messiah.

            The’ prophecy clock’ starting ticking with the incredible re -birth of Israel(despite all odds) in 1948 and prophecy is still unfolding.

            Israel has given land for peace to the Arabs(no such thing as ‘Palestinians’) but the Arabs want to totally destroy Israel.

            Only God can solve the problem in the middle East and in the world in general and we must be getting nearer to that time year by year.

            Thanks for the article Danny.

      • Joe Stocker

        Well an Islamist nutjob did massacre a load of gay people in Orlando a few months ago and almost all of the progressive LGBT Christian agitators blamed right-wing homophobic Christians for all the hate. I don’t think they have figured out how to blame evangelicals for the anti-gay hate in Muslim countries yet (give them time) – so they ignore it

    • HedgehogFive

      . . . mobs of foaming Choristers or even a Fart-wa . . .

      Even better, a FASWA, which is colloquial Arabic for a fart.

  • len

    There seems to be a conception amongst those who are pushing ‘the Gay Agenda’ that Jesus is some sort of pushover and would condone their homosexuality .
    This is a false Jesus that they have created.
    Jesus IS God and Jesus being ‘the Word of God’ is in total agreement with all God has said.
    There is now a period of Grace when all can come to Jesus if they are prepared to repent of their sins and be born again born into a NEW LIFE.
    Some sinners want it both ways to be saved but to keep their old life and their old lifestyles.
    Christians are to leave their old lives at the foot of the Cross.
    As for the unsaved they want Christians to compromise the Word of God so they can can ‘feel good’ about themselves in their fallen condition and by doing so remain in rebellion against the Word of God Jesus Christ Himself…

    • Dreadnaught

      Using Gay and Conception in the same sentence about homosexuality? –
      Yew tryna be funny or wha lah?

      • len

        The two are incompatible, bit like free speech and the gay agenda 😉

  • Inspector General

    Oh no! It’s starting already….

    “Right then children. What was so special about the animals in the stable where Jesus was born?”

    “Please Reverend. Was it because they were all gay?”

    “Yes, pretty boy. They certainly were”

    “And the donkey there?”

    “It used to be a goat”

  • The Explorer

    When society decides that paedophilia is a harmless condition that ought to be accepted (as a natural phenomenon by the religiously sceptical, as a divine blessing by the religiously liberal) what word will be used to describe the sentiments of those who still oppose it? Paedophobia? Paedophilphobia? Pederastophobia? Be prepared for it, whatever the form it takes, for it will be coming your way.

    • len

      I have said this will happen!.
      A society with no boundaries, no absolutes, will end up endorsing Paedophilia..

      • The Explorer

        It has no basis for not doing so. If people are born that way, or become that way, and are entitled to express their sexuality, then they have a right. Exactly the same arguments have been used to justify homosexuality.

        Damage to children? But the form of sexual expression favoured by 85% of male homosexuals carries grave health risks, and we have no problem with that. Indeed, we may soon be blessing it in church. (By the time we do, it won’t be my church.)

        • CliveM

          No I don’t see it. Some perverts on the fringes, or a tiny number of ‘experts ‘ who crave notoriety may advocate it, but it won’t get general acceptance.

          • The Explorer

            I’m not saying that everyone will become a paedophile. I’m just saying that there will be no basis on which to oppose it. It will remain a minority taste. Having said that, I’m still reeling from the number of celebrities, politicians and what not who seem to have been at it in recent times. Lord Jenner? Cyril Smith? Some dean or equivalent from Lewes or somewhere who’d had eight boys. No sooner had someone cited Clement Freud than others popped out of his past to accuse him, and his wife was confessing to having been in bed with a boy…

          • CliveM

            “I’m not saying that everyone will become a paedophile.”

            Hope I’m not saying you are! What I am saying is that I do not believe that paedophilia will ever be generally legalised (what may happen in certain Islamic nations I wouldn’t like to guess).

            It would be opposed on the basis of non-consensual harm.

          • The Explorer

            Remember HG’s post about twelve year olds in Belgium consenting to be euthanized? Change age of consent, or the definition of what constitutes consent, and problem solved. As to harm, we already allow consensual harm. And once we’ve solved the problem of non-consensual….

          • CliveM

            There maybe some fumbling around the age of consent, it already happens in some countries,however I do not believe that adults in this country will be allowed by law to have sexual relations with minors.

          • The Explorer

            No expert on this, Victoria Gillick territory, but I believe some girls under sixteen are prescribed the pill without parental knowledge or consent. It’s okay, provided the sexual partner is also under the age of consent. If he’s over sixteen it’s illegal. Logic?

          • CliveM

            Well the problem with an age of consent is one day it’s illegal, the next its legal with any dirty old man. I’m not sure what the answer is.

            However the relationship in your first example isn’t paedophilia, but it would be on the second. I see no pressure to legally allow the second, certainly not with children.

          • The Explorer

            What’s legal in Britain at sixteen is legal at fifteen in France and fourteen in Italy, and eighteen somewhere else. I absolutely hope you’re right, but if you’d told the Victorians of Oscar Wilde’s day that that homosexuality would one day cease to be illegal, they might have been sceptical. But if you’d told them that the C of E bishops would one day be debating marriage between two men they would have been incredulous.

            My main question remains: what are we to call resistance to paedophilia? If we allow phobia into the designation, we are suggesting irrational resistance to something harmless. So at this point of our social history, the requisite word does not exist.

          • CliveM

            I know some countries with lower age of consent, limit the age of the person they can have sex with.

            I briefly considered checking on line, but decided it might be hard to explain!!!

            Well we both hope I’m right (for once!) and nothing can be definitely ruled out, but I simply don’t see it.

    • David

      Yes that’s my view as well. One by one “progressive” society will work its way through the various misuses of our God given sexual urges. So what is unthinkable to one generation, becomes tolerable to the next, out of sympathy of course, and is then celebrated as a new liberation by the following generation. This is how the mechanism of liberalism works, ever outwards and downwards.

  • preacher

    Changes in society are irrelevant, there is no need for the Church to adapt if it represents God ” I am the Lord, I change not ! ” – ” Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today & forever ! “.
    The fact is that any attempt to change perfection to suit ones moral or sexual preferences will only lead to imperfection & loss, not only to those clamouring for the change, but for society as a whole.
    If there are feelings of guilt over any sin, either renounce it or continue to embrace it – but you cannot demand a stamp of approval on it, which no true human follower of Jesus Christ can give, be he Vicar, Cardinal, Bishop, Archbishop or Pope. Even if such a decision was made it would be revoked by the Lord as invalid.
    The loss to those that had accepted the ‘ Adapted ‘ version would find themselves among those that are rejected by Christ on the day of judgement, after presenting their ‘ Good works ‘ done in His name – with the reply ” Depart from me I never knew you ! “.
    Better to know the truth now, before it’s too late, than when the time for decision is gone.
    Scripture is very clear on the issue & needs no interference from mankind to change the unchangeable.

    • David

      Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today and forever.
      Churches and individual Christians that stand rock steady amongst the ever changing currents of cultural change will endure, and those that run after new fashions will perish. The choice is ours, and ultimately an individual one.

    • “The loss to those that had accepted the ‘ Adapted ‘ version would find themselves among those that are rejected by Christ on the day of judgement, after presenting their ‘ Good works ‘ done in His name – with the reply ” Depart from me I never knew you ! “.

      Do you support this position in respect of divorce and “remarriage”, childless marriages due to contraception and abortion, or does it apply only to homosexual relationships?

  • Andrew Holt

    Explorer. Why is there no consensus on the issues you mention? Short answer, I don’t know. Except to say that we are all individuals with free will and that makes disagreement inevitable. If ever we could lay claim to the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help me God, watch out everyone who disagrees! As possessors of free will we can at least choose to listen to one another and covenant to explore these issues without recourse to insult.

    • The Explorer

      Agree entirely with your last sentence. The only answer I can come up with to my own question is that disagreement keeps discussion alive and keeps us focused on the issues. With continual agreement, topics would be filed away and forgotten. I also think that on the really key issues, on which salvation hinges, there is pretty much consensus.

      • “I also think that on the really key issues, on which salvation hinges, there is pretty much consensus.”

        Is there?

        If we are to love God with our full heart, soul, body and mind, then we should discern and live according to His moral laws – made manifest through revelation, scripture and reason and taught by His Church. Once a truth is clarified, our free will exists in accepting or rejecting it, not renegotiating it with each passing generation.

        • The Explorer

          I was thinking of the Apostles’ Creed. Unitarians, JW’s and Mormons could not subscribe to it, but mist of the rest of us can.

  • Coniston

    I trust that all commentators have read the recent Anglican Mainstream item (at bottom of article): http://anglicanmainstream.org/cathedral-university-media-join-forces-to-undermine-biblical-faith/

    “Panel of speakers to discuss the future of Christian marriage at Corinth conference.”

    The event is hosted by the Herod Antipas fund on “Sexuality and Judaeo-Christian Identities”.

    • preacher

      Excellent Coniston, thank you !.

  • len

    The Church stands at a crossroads and the direction it takes will determine its future.We Christians will all at some time stand at ‘our crossroads and have to make a decision.
    The oldest ‘ trick in the book’ as old as time itself is the question “Did God really say?”
    This is the satanic undermining of the Word of God and following this indecision led to the fall of man when mankind chose to come under satanic deception instead of standing on the Word of God….
    Did God really say?.
    Many men suffered torture and death to put the Word of God into the hands of men so that they could all know the truth namely ‘The Bible’.
    Did God really say? Yes He did!

    • David

      Yes it is the Genesis 3 trick question brought into play once more. Sadly many will fall for it, and lose the Kingdom of God. False teachers who lead others in that direction will be particularly culpable.

  • carl jacobs

    The College of Bishops consists of all bishops of the Church of England – diocesan and suffragan – and a number of views will be represented

    This is not a representation of the breadth of the CoE, but evidence of the level of its corruption. This is why the CoE should be abandoned to its own devices. The hierarchy will not be recaptured for orthodoxy. The doctrinal ratchet only turns one way – towards revision. With the inevitability of a stone falling towards Earth, the CoE becomes more a clone of TEC with each passing day.

    The condition of the CoE is terminal. Move on and let it die.

  • David

    “Anglicans Repent your Homophobia”
    And what does homophobia mean in that context ? I strongly suspect it includes as “homophobic” anyone who doesn’t fully celebrate same sex sexual activity and the so called marriage of two people of the same sex by the Church.

    If that is the intended message behind that unclear sign, then the irony of Christians being asked to repent for not blessing sin is quite remarkable; indeed it is a total reversal of what Jesus and the whole Judaeo-Christian tradition has always said, everywhere and at all times about God’s purposes for our sexual energies.

    • The Explorer

      Yes. “Repent” is very emotive when used by the irreligious.

      • David

        Quite !
        It is laughable when “used” by an atheist, having all the power of a blank round.

    • grutchyngfysch

      Having the appearance of godliness but denying the power thereof.

      • David

        Indeed !

    • preacher

      The sign is wrong IMO. – A Phobia is an irrational fear of something or someone, therefore the context is wrong, I don’t fear homosexuals or any other person, faith or belief & I don’t believe any of us should do so.
      Thus the sign is attempting to instil a sense of guilt, fear or imputed injustice into the Church, which of course the Church is not guilty of, while at the same time attempting to justify a way of life that scripture condemns.

      • David

        Correct !

  • preacher

    The crux of the matter is this – Mankind is body, soul & spirit. The Flesh wants its own way, which is opposed to the Spirit, the Soul is the battlefield upon which the war is fought.
    We ( Our Soul ) chooses which side we support & strengthen. An old story told of a vision of a man watching a Red dog & a White dog fighting. When asked to explain what was happening, he replied that the Red dog named Lof ( Lusts of the flesh ) was fighting the White dog Sor ( Spirit of righteousness ). When asked which would win, he replied ” The one that I feed ! “.

  • The Explorer

    A phobia used to be a fear of something. It could be rational or irrational.

    Type a. Agoraphobia. Irrational. Where’s the harm in open spaces?

    Type b. Arachnophobia. Rational. Spider bites can kill you if you get septicaemia.

    PC, realising that whoever controls language controls the argument, decreed that all phobias should be of the Type a variety: irrational fear of something harmless.

    Anglicans. Repent your homophobia = Repent your resistance to something humane and harmless..

    Forget PC for a moment, and give ‘phobia’ its Type b meaning:

    Anglicans: Repent your resistance to a health hazard. Not me. Being an Anglican doesn’t even come into it.

    • preacher

      Agreed brother ! as I replied to David a couple of contributions ago.

    • Uncle Brian

      Explorer, a pedantic footnote to your post, if I may. “Arachnophobia” has been adopted as a medical term for a certain kind of acute physiological sensibility, but as far as I know the primary meaning of the word is still, quite simply, a morbid or irrational fear of spiders. Bernard Levin wrote about it, unforgettably, fifty years ago:

      http://www.newstatesman.com/node/165791

      • The Explorer

        Spiders and snakes seem to be the most common fears. They make more sense to me than fear of, say, mice. And to tell people that fear of the cobra, mamba, boomslang, gaboon viper, hamadryad etc is irrational would be irresponsible. Fearing any of those would not be irrational, because an untreated bite from any of them could kill you.

        Hinduphobia would be less justified than Islamophobia. Etc

  • Albert

    And to be orientated to the nurture of same-sex intimacy is not sin.

    What does this sentence mean?

    • Joe Stocker

      I took it to mean – just being a person who is fixed that way isn’t a sin

      • Albert

        That’s what I think it ought to mean, but the use of the expression “nurture of same-sex intimacy” makes me wonder if Dr C means those who are arguing for a change in Church teaching are not committing sin.

        • If you are oriented to want sex with a person of your own sex, to “nurture” this desire for “intimacy” (if we’re talking genital acts) is sinful.

          Jack “nurtures” the desire for intimacy with his sons, son in law, relatives and close friends. However, he is not looking to express this in same sex genital acts.

          • Albert

            Quite. As it stands, it does not seem to me that someone who takes an orthodox view of this question can write the sentence that Dr C wrote – though perhaps I’m missing something.

          • Eustace

            I wonder if we’re not about to see the fake archbishop evolve quite suddenly, one might even say miraculously, on the subject of homosexuality.

            Apparently his blog has just been reported to the police. If this results in a threat to its existence, what effect might that have on the opinions he expresses?

            If the man tried to get into Westminster, can’t we assume that like most politicians (or would-be politicians), compromise comes naturally to him?

            Perhaps the days of true orthodoxy here are numbered.

          • Albert

            I doubt it Eustace. I think it is more likely to be confusion on my part – or possibly on his.

          • IanCad

            “Apparently his blog has just been reported to the police.”
            And are you perfectly happy with that?

          • Eustace

            Did I report it? no, I did not.

            It will be interesting to see where the lines of free speech are drawn however. A lot of the comment on these pages seems to fit the definition of hate speech. Will there be any prosecutions? Will a stern warning be issued to the fake archbishop telling him to clean up his blog’s comments section, or else?

            I don’t know. I’m not the British police and I have no idea how they view this kind of thing. They may ignore it altogether for all I know. But it will be interesting to find out.

          • Joe Stocker

            You seem to have lived a very sheltered life. Nothing on this blog comes even close to hate speech

          • Inspector General

            One wonders how the British police will view the contents of your hard drive, you wicked bugger.

            As for hate speech. We love you, Eustace – now and in your previous incarnations…

          • David

            Hate speech here ?
            Good Lord no !
            Have you lived in cotton wool all your life ?
            I’ve received far worse myself out on the streets during recent referendum campaigns – it’s all part of the exciting cut and thrust of debate in a democratic society.
            Let’s not become too frightened to be free !

          • Eustace

            This has nothing to do with me. I didn’t make British law. I didn’t vote for or against any British government. Your laws are entirely your own affair. If you don’t like them, campaign to have them changed.

            Oops, you probably have, haven’t you? And they keep on ignoring you. Whereas they listen attentively to the likes of Ms/Mx Jayne Ozanne.

            How galling that must be for you! Oh well, if you’re a Catholic, you could always unite your suffering to the Cross and muse on the rewards that await you in heaven. A triplex condo in the heavenly equivalent of Hyde Park One with direct Throne views at the very least. That should cushion the blow…

          • David

            Not me ‘gov !
            Your skits on Christian topics are a constant source of amusement.

          • Orwell Ian

            Maybe he is drawing a distinction between orientation towards nurture and actually nurturing the desire. If so it’s a very fine line to draw and a boundary that would be all too easy to cross.

          • Albert

            I think the distinction probably doesn’t exist. I would accept a distinction between wanting to nurture homosexual people who engage in same-sex intimacy and those who want to nurture same-sex intimacy. But setting out that distinction is precisely what shows the problems with Dr C’s expression.

      • carl jacobs

        But people aren’t “fixed” that way. There is not a person in the world who can relate desire to genes. We don’t know what desire is, or where it comes from. To say that some people are by nature supposed to desire sex with members of their own gender is to make an ideologically cal and not a biological statement.

        • Joe Stocker

          Fixed as in people can and do report seemingly ‘innate’, enduring patterns of attraction. Not making any claim about why they occur how they develop. As you said – nobody knows.

          • Albert

            It seems to me that the issue is whether people choose to have such desires. As far as I can see, people don’t, and so, in itself, orientation whether, heterosexual or homosexual is morally irrelevant.

          • Joe Stocker

            I agree but the “orientation” could still be disordered – as we all agree the (spiritual?) problem with paedophilia is the orientation itself and not just the expression of it. How we have that conversation without seriously annoying people, I have no idea!

          • Albert

            Absolutely – I’m a Catholic, so I believe a homosexual orientation is inherently disordered – that’s what Church teaching says. But 1. we’re all disordered in some way or other by “virtue” (!) of original sin and that disorder is always a problem. 2. Culpability revolves around choices we make and sexual orientation does not involve a choice, therefore it is morally irrelevant in itself.

            I’m not sure it is possible to have this discussion much, because the modern world is so confused. It has raised freedom to being a good in itself above right action (as opposed to being a means to right action), but issues like paedophilia keep reminding people that freedom cannot be a good in itself above right action. Since people seem able to live with that contradiction, there’s not much room for meaningful discussion, since a contradiction conveys no information whatsoever.

          • CliveM

            I agre.

        • CliveM

          We don’t know that Carl. I have to say no amount of financial incentive would make me desire sex with a man. It doesn’t seem probable to me that people choose to be attracted to their own sex.

  • prompteetsincere

    “And to be orientated to the nurture of same-sex intimacy is not sin.”:
    O Cranmer, ‘Cranmer’ hath need of thee at such an hour!
    “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he…” + Proverbs 23:7
    “…be likeminded, having the same love/agapen, being of one accord, of one mind…
    let This MInd be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus…” + Philippians 2

  • Orwell Ian

    The Christian understanding of marriage and sexuality has always been grounded in the vision of one man and one woman coming together “as one flesh” (Genesis 2:24) There is no affirmation of homosexual relationships in Scripture and several injunctions against them. Marriage is portrayed as exclusively heterosexual, and no amount of creative Biblical interpretation will get round this without deception or delusion. For me this is a red line issue.

    • Inspector General

      Jayne might help us out on two women coming together. This is not a hate post, but genuine curiosity. A lot of men are {Ahem} curious on why these ladies spurn their, shall we call them, ‘naturals’…

      • Mike Stallard

        My Aunt, who was the child of a Vicarage, fell in love, in the 1920s, with the Curate at a neighbouring Church. Unfortunately he was a “homo” so that failed. Afterwards, she went to live with a great friend. I stayed there as a boy in the 50s. It was a lovely little flat and they got on like an old married couple. There was no mention of sex. There was no mention, of course, of marriage or whatever. They just lived together very happily. They were welcomed at the local church and both held down a responsible job.

        • Inspector General

          Yes. The era of the Gentlewoman on her own (her marriage prospects having been ended by the officer class slaughter in the Great War) and her companion. An Irish aunt was offered such a position when she handed in her notice as a member of staff working in a ‘big house’ near Winchcombe in 1946. She had a beau back in Wexford, you see, who was a reservist in the Free State Army during what the Irish called ‘The Emergency’. He was paid next to nothing for that. She had come over to England during to earn and save some money for their future.

          • David

            An interesting personal anecdote there, Inspector.
            Yes post WW1, for the surviving soldiers seeking a wife, it was, to put it indelicately, a buyers market.
            My rather “dodgy” grandfather was one of 200 of the 10,000 or so that left Brecon Barracks. On his return he was able to marry a very lovely, Christian gentlewoman who was far his superior, probably because she had few other alternatives. They raised three daughters, including my mother of course, so their marriage had some successes. But they were always so obviously incompatible in almost every way. There must have been many sad stories about, far, far worse than my family’s little tale.

          • Inspector General

            Very much the thing at the time for those prepared to consider that solution, David. One suspects what would have really hurt your grandmother was to be shunned in a greater or lesser way by family acquaintances or friends for ‘marrying beneath’. Yet not a public complaint from her, as was the British way…

          • CliveM

            My childhood seemed full of spinster Great Aunts dating from the Great War. All good Irish Proddies!

          • Inspector General

            The late Queen Mother was particularly bitter about it all, though of course she was fortunate that she did marry eventually – the then Duke of York (after having played hard to get!). The Inspector remembers she lost at least one, possibly two brothers, from that awful war. All those nephews and nieces that were never to be…or the comfort of your dead siblings at times of need…

          • CliveM

            Strangely my Grandfather was one of 10. He had two brothers who fought in the Great War (they saw it as preferable to living with my Gread Grandfather, a rather hard line evangelist) both survived and both won the Croix de Guerre. Of his 7 sisters only one married.

            Strangely on both sides of my family none of the men were killed in the Great War.

          • Mike Stallard

            OK.
            But today would my respectable, Anglican Aunt today have “come out” as a member of the LGBT community?

    • David

      Well said Ian.
      Many in the C of E feel exactly the same way as you do.

    • Together for life – no “remarriage” after divorce. That’s biblical too. Adultery is also a serious breach of God’s.

      • Mike Stallard

        Totally agreed!
        When asked if he had ever committed adultery, President Jimmy Carter is reported to have said, “Only with the eye.” And that, of course, is forbidden in the strongest terms too.

    • Jon Sorensen

      “The Christian understanding of marriage and sexuality has always been grounded in the vision of one man and one woman coming together “as one flesh” (Genesis 2:24)”
      Except when God’s plan was to give Solomon many wives 1 Kings 11:3 or how Jews got wives as a war loot.

  • David

    “Bishops can’t be bullied with demands for “greater clarity and consistency”,” says the header.
    Really ?
    It certainly seems to me that far too many bishops in the C of E, including Archbishop Welby, are being strongly influenced, if not bullied, by secular cultural shifts, wrought by a tiny minority who have captured control of the socially far left- liberal media.
    Indeed the Bishops of 100 years ago, let alone 1800 years ago, would be blinking in astonishment at what Welby sometimes says. Why does he do that because the Word of God is unchanging, the Tradition of the Church is a constant witness to the Truth and nothing within the world of science has managed to conclusively prove that anyone is born with a same-sex attraction formed within them ? So it is nurture not nature that is at the root of all this.
    Why attempt to bend teachings to conform to culture ? It is, I suspect, because too many politically, socially far left, and theologically liberal Bishops are, at heart, secularists and not Biblicists, or true respecters of Church traditions. It is a sorry sight ! But let us be particularly grateful for those brave bishops who resolutely defend orthodox belief, practice and teaching – they stand out as the true leaders of the C of E.

  • Politically__Incorrect

    I feel that only an institution like the CofE could dither over this issue. It’s a simple choice between what is clearly written in the Scriptures or yielding to the bullying of those who ignore those scriptures and go for a pick ‘n mix type of Christianity. If the bishops have some sound theological arguments for endorsing same sex marriage then let’s hear them. Words like “inclusive” are not arguments; they are just jargon from the PC handbook. It’s just like school; if you let the bullies win they’ll try to take over the place completely.

    • chefofsinners

      Amen. The very fact that the CoE is having this debate is enough to send me running to the nonconformists. We have lived to be grateful for the Five Mile Act.

  • Question:
    How do all the conservative-traditionalists, and assorted protestants, square their firm, biblical, opposition to homosexual “marriage” with tacit and explicit support for divorce and “remarriage”?

    • IrenaSerena1984

      Having asked the same tricky question, I received roughly the following answer: all agree that the normative marriage is for life but there are *biblical* exceptions that account for the hardness of human hearts. Same-sex marriage, on the other hand, has no such biblical exceptions… Any thoughts?

      • Yes – Jesus answered the question:

        “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another, commits adultery against her; and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery”

        Hardness of heart does not legitimise adultery -or homosexuality.

        • The Explorer

          DIvorce is allowed for the partner’s unfaithfulness. Matt. 5:32.

          • This exceptive clause does not appear in the parallel passages in Mark and Luke. Nor does it appear in Paul’s discussion of divorce and remarriage. The only exception he makes is for the dissolution of marriage is when one spouse has converted to Christianity.

            The exceptive clause occurs only in Matthew’s Gospel – one written for a Jewish audience – and there are a number of suggestions about why this is so. The word “unfaithfulness” is not what Jesus said. If Jesus intended to say unfaithfulness, he would have used the word “moicheia”, meaning “adultery” but instead he used the word “porneia”, meaning “illicit sexual intercourse”.

            His audience, the Jews, knew exactly what Jesus meant. Leviticus 18:6-16 list marriages that are illegal for Jews because they are between certain degrees of consanguinity or were with a Gentile, which was forbidden. The Jews knew this, and this is why Matthew’s Gospel includes this exception. Divorce and remarriage is permissible in these case, since the marriage was never valid to begin with. Those who are not validly married are free to contract it.

            Was Jesus allowing divorce only in the case of unfaithfulness of the other party? Where’s the reference to anything about it needing to be the other party? Furthermore, how would that work, exactly? A man cheats on his wife, so she divorces him and remarries. He’s left in marriage limbo, where he’s no longer married, but isn’t allowed to be married to anyone else? You’re allowed to divorce and remarry if your spouse is unfaithful? What about your own unfaithfulness?

            If you take ,I>”porneia” in the broad sense, allowing remarriage where there’s been sexual immorality in the marriage, it would blow a huge hole in the permanence of marriage. After all, if marriages are permanent unless one partner commits a sexual sin, how many marriages would survive? The exception would quickly swallow the rule.

            Finally, if Matthew were espousing unfaithfulness as grounds for divorce, we would soon run up against grave practical difficulties. Matthew would allow divorce and remarriage for a husband and wife who had committed adultery. But a husband and wife who remained faithful to each other would not be allowed to divorce. All a Christian couple who want a divorce would have to do is commit adultery. We end up with divorce on demand, with a technical proviso of committing adultery.

          • The Explorer

            Very erudite reply. I’ve noticed that the focus in Matthew is on Christ as the new Moses, so there are points of emphasis missing from, say, Luke. NEB translates it as ‘unchastity’. Your point about adultery in order to get a divorce is a very good one. I have to admit that the sentence, “If a man divorces his wife for any cause other than unchastity he involves her in adultery” has never made any sense to me.” You have clarified it.

          • carl jacobs

            Explorer

            Don’t ever accept an argument based upon original languages from someone who doesn’t speak the language. Much of my apologetic foundation comes from a man who teaches Koine Greek. He was a technical consultant for the NASB translation. That principle was one of the first things I learned from him.

            Who are you arguing against? Do you know? These arguments sound so good until they are confronted by someone knowledgeable, and then they can dissolve. If you don’t have the ability to assess the argument yourself, then you are simply submitting yourself to an unknown authority.

            There is a clever-sounding RC argument out there about Peter and the Rock and Matthew 16. The RC apologist will say “This is a Greek transcript, but Jesus was speaking in Aramaic.” Then they purport to extract Jesus’ “actual words” by translating the Scripture into Aramaic. They proceed to construct an argument for the Papacy on the basis of this alleged back-translation to “what was actually said”. It sounds great. And authoritative. But it’s exegetical nonsense.

            This stuff is dangerous. Beware of it.

          • Pubcrawler

            “Don’t ever accept an argument based upon original languages from someone who doesn’t speak the language.”

            An excellent maxim.

          • Uncle Brian

            Pubcrawler, since Carl has brought the subject up, what’s your take on “Upon this rock’’? The argument about petros/petra, which I once saw on a comments thread here at Cranmer’s, makes Jesus sound like a bookish schoolboy overeager to show off his knowledge of Greek grammar. “You will observe that there is a significant difference in meaning between the masculine and feminine nouns …”

          • Pubcrawler

            Yes, that is a knotty one. I’m meant to be asleep now so I’ll come back to this tomorrow. But by way of an amuse-bouche I will say that, in every discussion of this that I’ve read, one important thing is overlooked: the choice of demonstrative pronoun.

            ate amanha

          • Pubcrawler

            Right. First let me thank you for setting my mind working and keeping me awake half the night thinking about this. These are the products of my thinking.

            “sound like a bookish schoolboy overeager to show off his knowledge of Greek grammar”

            Yes, there’s a lot of that. That sort of dissection of sematic niceties I find quite off-putting and generally look the other way – sort of like the ‘oh God not again’ facepalm reaction I have whenever I come across non-specialists declaring what Greek words mean. (I confess that I was something like that as a teenager when I first began to examine the faith more seriously. I soon learnt that I wasn’t so smart after all, not even reaching to the toenails of giants, let alone their shoulders.)

            But, since you asked, I’ve looked at the verse rather more closely than I usually do. Hmmm, intriguing…

            So, let’s look at it simply as a piece of Greek, setting aside all distractions (in my case I always get Palestrina’s Tue es Petrus running through my head for an age whenever I read this passage, which doesn’t help at all) and ecclesiological concerns. I would also set aside a detailed semantic discussion because, whatever the primary meaning of the two words, it is clear that they are both being used metaphorically here. I just want to look at the form of it.

            σὺ εἶ Πέτρος, καὶ ἐπὶ ταύτῃ τῇ πέτρᾳ οἰκοδομήσω μου τὴν ἐκκλησίαν

            Two clauses, combined paratactically. Two related but nevertheless markedly different words, petros and petra. Why different words? There is no obvious reason why the same word cannot be used in both, so the variation must be deliberate. The most obvious inference is that they refer to two different things. That’s not conclusive in itself, of course, and (to veer towards semantics for a moment) there is an argument that, in Koine, the two words are synonymous, whatever distinction there may have been in Classical Greek. Now whether or not that is the case (and I would need to explore it in more detail, being a Classicist rather than a Koine specialist), what interests me is that two different words are used here. What inclines me towards thinking that two different things are being referred to here is not semantics, but grammar.

            First, the two clauses are combined paratactically rather than using subordination: if the same referent were intended, it would be far more economic, and much clearer, to say something like ‘You are the rock on which I will build my church’. But that’s not what it says. Now this may be a particular quirk of Matthew’s own style, I’ll need to read the rest of the Gospel with an eye out for that to be able to make much more of it than an observation, but it’s interesting.

            (That καὶ bothers me. Normally you’d expect to see not καὶ ἐπὶ but ἐπὶ δὲ. At first I dismissed it as the clunky style of a ‘Koine as second language’ speaker, but a quick skim even at the surrounding text shows that not to be the case. It’s deliberate, but I’m not sure why as yet.)

            Second, the demonstrative pronoun, which I don’t recall anyone I’ve read giving any consideration. Like English, Greek distinguishes between this (‘here’, ‘by me’) and that (‘over there’). Here we have ταύτῃ, which is the that form. So the petra is marked as something distant, away from the speaker. And not just the speaker, but the preceding clause, otherwise I would expect it to say τῇδε τῇ πέτρᾳ. (This is why Palestrina doesn’t help: the Vulgate text which he sets has it hanc petram, where I think a more accurate translation would be illam petram. Though at least Jerome didn’t cast it as eandem petram – that would be naughty!)

            So where does all this lead? Well, my view is that petra doesn’t refer to the same thing as petros. It’s not certain, but the language of the two clauses as a whole suggests that that is more likely. Petros is clearly Simon bar-Jonah, of that there can be no doubt. As for petra, well, the that form of the demonstrative pronoun means that the interpretation by which Christ is referring to himself has, er, no foundation (sorry!). In the absence of any more obvious candidate, the interpretation which has it referring to Simon’s declaration of faith immediately preceding, or the revelation/faith behind that declaration, is a perfectly plausible reading.

            Hope that’s not too muddled and garbled, it’s still pupating in my head. But that’s what I think about that question.

          • Uncle Brian

            Well, thank you! I hadn’t realised I was asking you to do such extensive analysis. My apologies for that. So, briefly, the Calvinists are right and the Catholics are wrong. Who’d a thunk it!

            I’ve just been taking a look at the parallel texts on the Bible Hub website, which lists 25 English translations of this verse. None of them uses “that” for the demonstrative. With a single exception, they all read either “on this rock”, “upon this rock”, or “upon this stone”. The exception is the Jubilee Bible 2000:

            And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, a small rock and upon the large rock I will build my congregation {Gr. ekklesia – called out ones}, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against her.

            It leaves out the demonstrative pronoun altogether, putting the article “the” in its place. But I don’t want to be the cause of your losing a second night’s sleep …

            http://biblehub.com/matthew/16-18.htm

          • Pubcrawler

            Oh, it was fun really 🙂

            I might be completely overplaying the demonstrative argument, it’s just something that struck me last night. In all the hair-splitting over what petros/petra might mean, the deixis of that pronoun seems to have been overlooked, but I think it might have some significance.

            That Jubilee Bible looks to me like it’s using doctrine to guide its translation and trowelling it on think!

            Don’t start me on ekklesia

          • Uncle Brian

            I can readily promise not to ask you about ekklesia. That one doesn’t worry me, as far as translation goes. I’ve never really understood what all the fuss is about, anyway.

            Thanks again for taking so much trouble! Obrigado e um grande abraço!

          • CliveM

            PC and UB,

            Thanks for that. It was very interesting. Learnt a lot.

          • Pubcrawler

            You’re welcome. But don’t you go asking me intriguing questions at 2.30 a.m. as well…

          • CliveM

            oh ok, I’ll try not!

          • David Harkness

            Jack, thanks for your post, I have heard teaching (and it appears credible to me given the mores of 1st Century life in Israel) that when Jesus talks about divorce he is not talking about what we would call divorce in the west.

            Matt 1 tells us that Joseph planned to divorce Mary prior to their marriage. Plainly in order to get out of a betrothal there needed to be a divorce. If this is the case it may be that Jesus is talking about a man becoming betrothed to a woman, and the only opportunity for him to renege on that betrothal is if she has been found to be sleeping with another man during the betrothal.

            Have you you come across this teaching – do you and others on here attach any credibility to it?

          • Jack has heard of this and yes, he thinks there is some credibility to it.

            http://www.catholic.com/magazine/articles/did-jesus-say-adultery-is-grounds-for-divorce

        • Inspector General

          The Inspector has at least 2 friends whose wives flatly refused them children. What to do. One does believe he knows what an OT prophet would have said…

          • carl jacobs

            Now that would be grounds for annulment – which as we know is not divorce by another name. Nope. Not at all. Perish the thought.

          • Correct – you seem to be learning.

          • carl jacobs

            Oh, I’ve learned alright.

          • So you’re no longer in a condition of invincible ignorance.
            Do you believe divorce and remarriage is permitted by scripture?

          • carl jacobs

            I believe the RCC has made a legal distinction without a difference. And that impresses no one besides a Canon Lawyer or a desparate RC apologist.

          • Mike Stallard

            It impresses me very much actually.
            1. I have had the opportunity to try to teach children (mainly teenage boys) whose parents are divorcing or who have been divorced. They are like Hamlet.
            2. I watch Jeremy Kyle twice a week at the gym. A “relationship” which lasts for a year is a remarkably long one. Divorce – and indeed marriage – are virtually unknown.
            3. Lots of sex nowadays – very little birth. Hence a lot of immigration to fill the gaps left by us, the native English. When families are abandoned so the birth rate appears to plummet.
            Alone of all the Western Churches, the Catholics stand out – in the right.

          • A distinction made by Jesus too – if one reads Matthew correctly, that is.

            If a brother and sister “married” unknowingly – it has happened – this would not be a valid marriage and would be annulled. If a couple “marry” with the wrong intention, wilfully or without understanding, one or both, why would their vows be valid in the eyes of God? If a couple are forced to “marry” at the end of a shotgun, why would this be valid?

            Annulment is a proper process. Open to abuse and misunderstanding, granted. Nevertheless, still a proper process.

          • And divorce and remarriage, Carl? Permitted by scripture or not? You never responded to Jack’s question.

          • Inspector General

            Ah, that’s it then. Divorce has 2 legs, an Annulment has 4. Simples!

            As for the OT figure, perhaps “bring into your household a concubine, and get it on with her, as they say. Young servant girls are best. Like Hannah.”

          • Name one prophet who ever approved fornication with concubines?

          • Inspector General

            It’s not a question of approving of concubines. They were there. We know that. Probably the young females of tribes the Israelite’s annihilated…

          • That would not be a valid Christian marriage if the wife had this in her mind when the vows were made.
            What would an OT prophet have said?

        • IrenaSerena1984

          I happen largely to agree with you, Jack. But I was answering the question from the perspective of conservatives who support remarriage under certain circumstances.

          Whatever we deduce from Christ’s words, it is an undeniable fact that there is a biblical (Mosaic) exception to the rule. Which is why it is at least a debatable question. Same-sex marriage, on the other hand, has never been permitted. That alone distinguishes the two. To fail to distinguish muddies the waters and legitimises the progressivist lobby.

          • Jesus ended the Mosaic exception and the so called exception in Matthew, for “adultery”, is not that at all.
            It strikes Jack as hypocritical for a majority to condemn a minority on scriptural grounds, when they themselves are ignoring Jesus’ own words or reinterpreting them to suit themselves.

          • IrenaSerena1984

            Again, I agree with you on what Jesus says. But you’re not hearing my point. Those who oppose same-sex marriage but permit remarriage do so on the basis that one has biblical pedigree whereas the other doesn’t.

            The mere fact that Moses permits an accommodation to something that “was not so in the beginning” (note that Jesus is referring to the natural law written in creation and not a new teaching) means that the question is more complex than you imply. That divorce was allowed for hardness of heart didn’t mean that it didn’t involve sin. On the contrary, “their hardness of heart did not excuse them from their sin” (Aquinas). And yet those individuals weren’t expelled from the Covenant community in the way you’d expect an adulterer to be expelled.

            These sorts of considerations, along with others, lead me to at least sympathise with those who permit remarriage. And they certainly lead me to think that your conflation of this question with same-sex marriage is misguided (indeed, I’ve never heard a respected Catholic apologist push the link very far).

          • Jack isn’t conflating the two. Homosexuality, as we know, goes directly against the natural design of our bodies and contradicts the purposes of sex. Sexual acts between men and women are not intrinsically ordered against nature, whereas same sex acts are.

            My point is a different one. Why not permit homosexual “marriage” because of “hardness of heart” i.e. inability to resist sin? Grant an exception for one sin and why not another?

            Aquinas’ answer has a great deal more to it than your summary suggests too.

            I answer that, on this point there are two opinions. For some say that under the Law those who put away their wives, after giving them a bill of divorce, were not excused from sin, although they were excused from the punishment which they should have suffered according to the Law: and that for this reason Moses is stated to have permitted the bill of divorce.
            Accordingly they reckon four kinds of permission: one by absence of precept, so that when a greater good is not prescribed, a lesser good is said to be permitted: thus the Apostle by not prescribing virginity, permitted marriage (1 Cor. 7). The second is by absence of prohibition: thus venial sins are said to be permitted because they are not forbidden. The third is by absence of prevention, and thus all sins are said to be permitted by God, in so far as He does not prevent them whereas He can. The fourth is by omission of punishment, and in this way the bill of divorce was permitted in the Law, not indeed for the sake of obtaining a greater good, as was the dispensation to have several wives, but for the sake of preventing a greater evil, namely wife-murder to which the Jews were prone on account of the corruption of their irascible appetite. Even so they were allowed to lend money for usury to strangers, on account of corruption in their concupiscible appetite, lest they should exact usury of their brethren; and again on account of the corruption of suspicion in the reason they were allowed the sacrifice of jealousy, lest mere suspicion should corrupt their judgment.
            But because the Old Law, though it did not confer grace, was given that it might indicate sin, as the saints are agreed in saying, others are of opinion that if it had been a sin for a man to put away his wife, this ought to have been indicated to him, at least by the law or the prophets: “Show My people their wicked doings” (Is. 58:1): else they would seem to have been neglected, if those things which are necessary for salvation and which they knew not were never made known to them: and this cannot be admitted, because the righteousness of the Law observed at the time of the Law would merit eternal life. For this reason they say that although to put away one’s wife is wrong in itself, it nevertheless became lawful by God’s permitting it, and they confirm this by the authority of Chrysostom, who says [*Hom. xxxii in the Opus Imperfectum falsely ascribed to St. John Chrysostom] that “the Lawgiver by permitting divorce removed the guilt from the sin.”
            Although this opinion has some probability the former is more generally held: wherefore we must reply to the arguments on both sides [*Cf. FS, Q[105], A[4], ad 8; FS, Q[108], A[3], ad 2; Contra Gentes iii, cap. 123].

          • IrenaSerena1984

            And therein is my point. Namely, that on the one hand we have no warrant to grant a “hardness of heart” exception for same-sex marriage because the Law doesn’t… whereas it does in the case of divorce and remarriage, giving weighty precedent. And on the other, that the issue is manifestly more complicated (as evidenced by the numerous opinions that Aquinas cites) than your assertion of hypocrisy implies.

          • But Jesus dismissed the exception. We no longer live under the Mosaic law, where compliance with rules secures salvation. We live under grace which, with our cooperation, perfects us.

            Btw, meant to include the following in the above post:

            Objection 4:
            On the contrary, our Lord said (Mat.19:8) that Moses granted the Jews the bill of divorce by reason of the hardness of their heart. But their hardness of heart did not excuse them from sin. Neither therefore did the law about the bill of divorce.

            Reply to Objection 4:
            Although their hardness of heart excused them not from sin, the permission
            given on account of that hardness excused them. For certain things are
            forbidden those who are healthy in body, which are not forbidden the sick, and
            yet the sick sin not by availing themselves of the permission granted to them.

            It seems Moses had the authority to excuse sin under Mosaic law; the Church of the New Covenant does not. The permission was given by Moses – it was withdrawn by Christ.

          • IrenaSerena1984

            You’re not reading either myself or Aquinas very carefully. Firstly, I’m not arguing for remarriage (though the situation is more complicated in churches that don’t have a process of annulment) but am merely giving a reason why someone is able to argue that case without hypocrisy regarding same-sex marriage.

            Secondly, Aquinas says that neither the hardness nor the bill excused them from sin. The whole point is that their sin is upon them and yet they are granted the remarriage. (And Christ is not establishing a new law or abrogating the old – he is unveiling a decree that was from the beginning). The Oxthodox churches testify to the irregularity of a second marriage in many aspects of such ceremonies whilst the provisions for church remarriage in the CofE likewise make explicit that the new marriage is contracted in a penitential spirit (thus, that it is not normative).

          • Anton

            Jack,

            In his commentary on the Sermon on the Mount, Luther argued that the husband of a woman who committed adultery could divorce her and remarry in places where adultery was not punishable by death. His reasoning is that under God’s law she would be stoned to death, and it is not the husband’s responsibility that the local law does not match the code God gave.

            What is your view of that argument? (Please don’t assume that I either agree or disagree.)

          • The man was a brute.

          • Anton

            The logic is fine. The reason I disagree with Luther is rather that it allows the man to duck the question: Would you really have the mother of your children stoned for her adultery if you lived in a land where that was possible?

          • The original Mosaic law was brought in to protect women from men who wanted rid of them and might otherwise have killed or abused them. One doubts Christ, who replaced the external law with grace, would sanction stoning a person to death.
            The word porneia doesn’t mean adultery. There is a strong argument that Jesus had something else in mind.

          • Anton

            I’m aware that adultery is moicheia and I largely agree with what you say about the Law of Moses. However Christ was talking about how to run a church, whereas Moses was talking about how to run a nation. That is why the difference; be careful not to set Christ against His Father within the same context! And do remember that the Christ whom you say would not sanction stoning is someday going to commit a massive massacre against a world army.

          • The People of Israel were the People of God. Nowadays, it’s the Church. Christ was addressing the morality of divorce and He withdrew the Mosaic concession.
            To be honest, Jack struggles with the very idea that God permitted Moses to accommodate the sin of divorce to permit men to dispose of women they had grown weary of to avoid the greater evil of men finding other ways to free themselves. It’s always bothered Jack. With Christ, the permanency and indissolubility of marriage became the image of His relationship with His Mystical Body, the Church.

          • Anton

            I’m largely in agreement with your conclusions, although by different reasoning.

          • Anton

            Nothing to do with marital contraception.

          • Jack begs to differ. It has everything to do with contraception.

          • Anton

            Differ by all means!

    • Mike Stallard

      As they are in the Catholic Church…

      • David

        Mike, you may wish to note my addition to your answer to Jack.

    • David

      I’m answering after Mike so I’ll add, “As they are in the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church”.

      • IrenaSerena1984

        David, remarriage is often permitted in Orthodoxy. The ceremony and the substance is different to a first marriage, but it is nonetheless practiced.

        • David

          Yes thank you. I have studies aspects of Orthodoxy, a Church that I very much admire. In a different life I would have joined them, as I admire their constancy. In large UK cities they have a presence, but unfortunately in rural areas they are thin on the ground.

          • IrenaSerena1984

            Yes, I know what you mean:-). Sadly, there’s rarely much option in rural areas where the one local parish has little constancy

      • chefofsinners

        I’ll add “as they are in independent conservative evangelical circles.”

        • David

          Keep going !

    • Anton

      Not all protestants do, Jack. But the issue is remarriage during the lifetime of an ‘ex’, not divorce, which has changed in meaning between Jesus’ culture and ours: in ancient Israel it was a matter for the couple, who then informed the authorities; today the divorce is *granted* by the authorities. That difference must be factored in before applying biblical teaching.

  • IanCad

    This is quite a change! Many times the OP morphs into a debate about homosexual marriage. Now here we have that very subject drifting off into a discussion concerning traditional marriage.

    • We’re asking homosexuals to be chaste and claim they will receive grace from God to do so. Yet, at the same time, many Christian’s approve of divorce and remarriage. Why not chastity in these situations too?

  • TIME to CTRL ALT & DEL

    The sign in the picture asks what would Jesus say about homophobia. I think he might have started his answer by saying “it is written”.

    • chefofsinners

      Jesus had every opportunity to say something about homophobia, and so far as God has recorded He said absolutely nothing.

      • Inspector General

        Nor about considering to stab your child to death on a mountain. Yet there is biblical account of that.

        • chefofsinners

          Wrong twice, I’m afraid. First because God instructed Abraham to do said deed, and also stopped him.
          Second because Jesus said “whosoever shall offend one of these little ones…” You know the rest.
          Do you own a bible?

          • Inspector General

            Do you own the Inspector’s questioning intellect?

          • chefofsinners

            I’d noticed Cranmer using the term LGBTIQ and wondered what the IQ stood for.

          • Inspector General

            Do you now…

          • chefofsinners

            Inspector’s Questioning

          • Inspector General

            Don’t try and find any answers from LGB etc. It’s an area which is dark, damp, warm and brown…or pink…

          • Do you remember the Numb Skulls – in the Beezer? It’s a cartoon strip about a team of tiny human-like technicians who live inside the heads of people, running and maintaining their bodies and minds. You’ve got a troubled one running around loose in your head creating havoc. Stop nourishing him and he may just leave of his own accord.

          • CliveM

            Apropos absolutely nothing, they now appear in the Beano.

      • Despite His eternal nature, God may not have taken full account of the Inspector and his misuse of the blogosphere.

      • IrishNeanderthal

        I find it bizarre that the two chief “phobias” are Islamophobia and homophobia.

  • bluedog

    He’s gone. Full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. A peal of bells across the land to celebrate the demise of the wrecker.

    • Pubcrawler

      Oh yes, him.

      At first I thought we were in for another exciting game of ‘Spot the new Linus’.

      • The Explorer

        Me too. Something I’m not clear about is if he did leave and come back with a new name would it still say ‘This user is blocked’ or would one have to start again identifying him? Maybe we’ll find out in due course. Go on, Eustace, change your identity.

        • bluedog

          Worth reading some of Eustace’s recent posts. You may change your mind.

          • The Explorer

            I’ll take your word for it. I’m coming to the conclusion, though, that blocking is effective only if everyone does it. That would drive him to frenzy. (Even more than normal, I mean.) But if only half the contributors do it, then he simply communicates with half the blog. And there would never be agreement to universal blocking.

          • Pubcrawler

            My smartphone keeps logging me out for some reason, so I get to see them. Same old trite tripe, if anything slightly more shrill.

          • bluedog

            Disagree. Sometimes, yes, at the end, the ritual statement of position. But there are also signs of a different approach. Certainly the posts are always extremely well written and frequently very funny indeed.

          • Pubcrawler

            Then let us have Good Disagreement.

            *phones rozzers*

          • bluedog

            Damn. Never thought of that.

          • Inspector General

            “If you are an annoyed homosexual, press 1”

            “If you are a very annoyed homosexual, press 2”

            “If you’ve sodomised someone who didn’t want to be sodomised, press 3”

          • carl jacobs

            What was the point of this post? This is the kind of comment that hostile people could seize upon to characterize the entire blog. It does not present us in a good light.

          • Glad you said that. Someone needed to.

          • Inspector General

            The police in England have already ‘received a visit’ from the militants. ALL of the forces.

            So, on their imagined revamped switchboard, gay indignation is now above gay crime.

          • CliveM

            ‘Extremely well written ‘ they should be by now, he’s repeated himself enough.

            ‘Frequently very funny’ only inadvertently.

          • The Explorer

            Linus can be very funny when he wants to be. But I’ve often found him funniest when he’s at his most vituperative.

          • CliveM

            My complaint about Linus isn’t that he’s an atheist (who cares?) or Gay (only he cares), but that he is a mysoginist and bully. He thinks it acceptable to ridicule the disabled and celebrates the kidnapping of girls by Boko Haram.

            I respect Danjo and the Italian one. Even Sarky has fluked the odd astute comment (pity he’s decided to leave). But Linus!

            He’s also not very nice.

          • The Explorer

            I wish I could harness Linus’ rage and feed it into the National Grid. It could heat a fair-sized town for the winter. I agree totally about respect for the other two.

          • dannybhoy

            That’s telling him..
            I think the fact that Eustace comes back indicates something deeper is going on. Anyway as has been said before we Christians should reach out to the unlovely -or just ignore his comments..

          • Has Sarky decided to leave? Why?

          • CliveM

            Yes (if I understood his last post). He seemed upset at the tone of the debate on Saturdays posts.

          • carl jacobs

            If sarky left over that thread, he was already looking for a reason to leave.

          • The Explorer

            He made a goodbye comment on the Vicky Beeching post. I tried to reply to it, but a moderator removed his comment.

          • He must have removed it himself as HG has clarified he hasn’t removed any.

          • CliveM

            Has anyone checked all his posts? If they’ve all gone he’s deleted his account.

          • CliveM

            Done a bit of checking, he seems also to have deleted his account.

          • Oh dear ….

          • CliveM

            Didn’t take him to be such a sensitive soul.

          • Jack suspects Sarky works in some form of law enforcement. He might have been troubled by talk of police involvement. Saturday’s blog was no worse – or better – than many others on the subject of homosexuality.

          • CliveM

            I think you might be right. I seem to remember he once alluded to working in child protection.

          • Pubcrawler

            I’ll miss his multiple question marks.

          • Eustace

            Careful about bearing false witness. You can get into trouble for doing that. With the law of course, although imaginary heaven forfend that I should file a complaint over patently ludicrous accusations from a known homophobe and bigot. What would the point be? Anyone whose opinion matters can see this accusation is motivated by pure animus.

            On the other hand, if this imaginary God of yours really does exist, he’ll be wanting an explanation from you about why you’re making libelous accusations against an innocent man, now won’t he?

            If you have proof that I “celebrate the kidnapping of girls by Boko Haram”, let’s see it. Otherwise I’d advise you – for your own sake – to put a sock in it. Just think, a whole lifetime of kowtowing to God will count for nothing if you die unrepentant with a mortal sin on your conscience. All that groveling for nothing! What a waste!

          • CliveM

            A known homophobe! Now who’s bearing false witness. You’ll find all my posts here, point out the homophobic ones.

            If you can.

            Anyway, I forget, are you currently admitting you’re Linus or not? It’s so hard to keep up.

            Anyway if you feel strongly about it, you go ahead and file a complaint. It’ll give you something to do.

          • Anton

            Sarky’s quit? That would be a pity.

          • CliveM

            Yes on both counts.

          • IanCad

            When did he announce it?
            Edit:
            Sorry Clive, all is explained further down the thread.

          • bluedog

            This communicant regards blocking as pointless. It’s like going into a restaurant and only reading the left-hand pages of the menu. It’s far more interesting to read the whole thread, if you have time, and see the full spectrum of ideas and opinion. You can always skim!

          • Pubcrawler

            I see it more like going on a picnic without being bothered by wasps.

          • bluedog

            Fair comment!

          • Uncle Brian

            Your comparison is very apt, though I’ve never blocked Linus, in fact I’ve never blocked anybody. After all, however many wasps may be infesting my computer screen, they’re only virtual wasps. They can’t actually sting me.

          • Pubcrawler

            It’s not the risk of being stung, it’s the bothersome distraction I’m happy to live without.

          • The Explorer

            Blocking Linus (he’s the only person I’ve blocked) certainly shortens the thread, especially if he’s in fill flow.

          • dannybhoy

            Agreed.

          • IanCad

            I have the sneaking suspicion that those who would block, will have little difficulty taking the next step. Censorship.

          • Pubcrawler

            Then (speaking for myself only) you suspect wrong.

          • IanCad

            Glad to hear it.

        • CliveM

          It’s all to easy.

      • Royinsouthwest

        You are not suggesting that “Eustace” and “Linus” are pseudonyms used by David Cameron, are you?

    • Inspector General

      A devoted parliamentarian he was not, then. Just a shameless chancer…

    • chefofsinners

      Camergone, at last. Heaven above is softer blue, earth around is sweeter green.
      May God have mercy on his soul.

      • bluedog

        There’s another shoe yet to drop…

  • chefofsinners

    My undying gratitude, Cranmer, for using the word ‘orientated’ instead of ‘oriented’.
    Now, if you could just turn your attention to ‘enormity’, we might yet pluck our mother tongue as a brand from the burning.

    • Uncle Brian

      My personal efforts, in this field, are directed at restoring the pre-1995 (or thereabouts) distinction between may and might.

      > She may have missed her flight = I don’t know whether she caught it or not.

      > She might have missed her flight = Something happened that meant she was in danger of missing it, but in the end she caught it.

      • The Explorer

        The BBC said the Germans may have won the Second World War. We could help them out, and tell them the result.

        • Uncle Brian

          No kidding, Explorer! Is that really a true story?

          • The Explorer

            Yes. What did you expect from the BBC? Literacy? Grammatical accuracy?

          • Uncle Brian

            Well, yes, now that you mention it, I suppose I did. What a letdown!

      • chefofsinners

        You should write to the Prime Minister, Mrs Might. She may be able to help.

    • IanCad

      To my eternal embarrassment, I once wrote to an editor chastising him for spelling it “Orientated.” Egg on face.

      • chefofsinners

        Confession is good for the soul, Ian.

    • carl jacobs

      http://writingexplained.org/oriented-vs-orientated-difference

      The answer to that question is that there is no demonstrable difference in use or function between the two, and they can be used completely interchangeably.

      • Says Garner’s Modern American Usage Enough said.

        • carl jacobs

          He talks about British variants of English as well.

          • “British variants of English” is an oxymoronic statement.

            When distinguished from American English, the term “British English” is sometimes used broadly as a synonym for the various dialects of English spoken in some member states of the Commonwealth of Nations, excluding those which have separate and long-standardised dialects of their own such as Australia and Canada.

            You, along with Australians and Canadians, speak and write in a dialect. The British have slight regional variations in formal, written English.

          • carl jacobs

            You are drifting off topic. The topic at hand is that the two words are indistinguishable. One has an extra ugly and unnecessary syllable so there is never a reason to use it.

          • You remain in your lifts and on your sidewalks; we’ll continue to use elevators and pavements.

          • carl jacobs

            Ummm … Are you intentionally trying to confuse me?

          • Such an unnecessarily loooong word, don’t you think?

  • Shadrach Fire

    His Grace wrote “harm and hurt are perpetuated through disapproval and exclusion”.
    Does this apply to the exclusion from heaven of sinners who will not repent? The spiritual life we walk is determined by the Grace of our Lord Jesus to forgive us of our sins if we repent. Those that will not, will be cast into the lake of fire. Harm and Hurt WILL be suffered by these through God’s disapproval and exclusion.

  • chefofsinners

    Our nation has recently rejected being governed by a remote, liberal elite.
    A large number of people may leave the Anglican Communion for the same reasons they are leaving the European Union.

    • Eustace

      Leave! Leave! Leave!

      Ah, the spectacle of a Church disintegrating before my eyes! It’s enough to warm the cockles of any rightly constituted heart.

      All the bigots and homophobes, misogynists and racists, fascists and Colonel Blimps are flying from the liberal citadels and taking to the maquis. Well, what passes for maquis in your boggy island, of course. Rotting leaf litter over a bed of sodden sphagnum, more like, and terribly difficult to blend into without getting bogged down. But just as the mud-dwelling denizens of other stagnant ponds manage to adapt to their situation, I’m sure you’ll get the hang of it soon enough.

      One imagines you’ll form your own little covens and the whole revolt will quickly descend into internecine guerrilla warfare. Each sect will bitterly oppose its neighbours and murderous controversy over such crucial and important issues as the colour of the potato sack Mary wore to the Crucifixion will erupt into full blown and bloody turf wars. The fires of Smithfield will reignite in such unlikely places as Tunbridge Wells and Budleigh Salterton and will only be extinguished once the last Christian has lit the last fire under the second-to-last Christian, after which there’ll be no-one left to burn.

      Meanwhile the victorious liberal Church will have dissolved into a jelly-like mass of vaguely spiritual tree-huggers and vegans, and Christianity will disappear from the land forever.

      It’s only a matter of time…

      • bluedog

        But will the Christodammerung happen in your life-time? If not, can you live with the possibility that what you believe to be inevitable is wrong? How do you admit to yourself that you have failed in your objective?

        Remember, Brexit was the first revolt of the masses against the elite consensus. What else would the masses vote for if given the opportunity? Capital punishment restored – tick. Ending third-world immigration – tick. Recriminalisation of homosexuality – ???Ending same sex marriage – ??? There was no vote to introduce SSM which greatly increases the possibility of rejection in the event of a ‘confirming’ plebiscite. It’s an exciting time to be a populist politician hungry for power.

        • Eustace

          The Irish referendum tells you all you need to know about British attitudes to equal marriage. The majority of the Irish public was either in favour of equal marriage or didn’t care enough about the issue to vote. A noisy minority was against it. But noisy minorities do not make the law. Especially when they can’t persuade the silent majority to give them what they want.

          But by all means, clamour away for a PLEBiscite (an appropriate enough name for a referendum considering who’s asking for it). The result may disappoint you.

          The Brexit vote has given renewed hope to every racist, homophobe and xenophobe in Britain. At last, they think public opinion has swung behind them and the fascist ideals they hold dear. Only it hasn’t. The majority remains moderate and only voted for Brexit out of a sense of frustration at not being listened to. So extremists like you are not leading a fascist army that will sweep to power and turn the clock back to the 1930s.

          Perhaps a PLEBiscite would be a good idea after all. What better way to show you how irrelevant you really are?

          • bluedog

            ‘A noisy minority was against it. ‘

            Well that’s one description of the Catholic church. Could it be that the SSM vote in Ireland owed a great deal to the shocking incidence of child abuse by the Catholic clergy? It certainly looked like a protest vote as much as anything else.

          • Eustace

            The Irish referendum was certainly a shocking repudiation of Catholic morality and it’s not impossible that its outcome was in part influenced by the collapse of the Church’s moral credibility following the child abuse scandals.

            But Ireland used to be a profoundly Catholic country. Just about every Irishman was educated by the Church, which should have been in an unassailable position to dictate the outcome of the vote. The fact that it wasn’t speaks volumes about the Church’s vanishing moral authority. And not just in Ireland.

            The British are consistently more liberal than the Irish. If you ask them to vote on equal marriage, they’ll pass it with an even larger majority than the Irish did.

            So go ahead, try to persuade Mx May to give you your PLEBiscite. Something tells me that after the outcome of the last one, the next one will be a long time coming. Tessie Two Jag(uar print shoe)s doesn’t want to go the same way as her predecessor.

          • bluedog

            At present there is not the slightest possibility of a referendum on SSM. The British government is fully committed to Brexit and managing, one presumes, the demise of the EU. Juncker’s statements are a declaration of war. He either goes and is replaced by someone more sensible or the destruction of the EU becomes a vital British interest.

            Having said that, a large part of the British electorate are opposed to SSM, will never forgive Cameron for the introduction of SSM without a mandate, and would relish the ending of SSM, homosexual adoption and similar concessions.

      • len

        People leaving Church doesn`t mean they stop being Christians.I left Church in 2002.

        • Eustace

          Ah, but did you leave the Church, or did the Church leave you? Divorce is never a clear cut thing. There are always faults on both sides.

          So why the break, then? Whoring about, was she? Or did she leave you for a same-sex partner?

          Oh well, once the anger has abated, I’m sure you’ll come to realise that she’ll be far happier without you than chained up in a miserably unhappy marriage. Be happy for her! And as for your fate, well some people are just better off alone, aren’t they?

      • Joe Stocker

        Are you J.K. Rowling?

        • len

          Eustace ( certainly has a vivid imagination) he /she goes into an orgy of ecstasy over the suffering he /she thinks they are inflicting on Christians.Hardly ever read his/her stuff as it all seems a bit long winded and boring .Nothing new just the same over and over again….

        • The Explorer

          Linus/Eustace is a refined and rarefied spirit, but with a penchant for a bit of rough. So once in a while he demeans himself by engaging with the denizens of this Blog. Unless they’ve blocked him.

    • len

      Best thing if people leave a compromising Church.God always works through a remnant to achieve His Purposes.

  • carl jacobs

    The church that surrenders on this issue destroys its ability to ever again make an authoritative moral statement. Why? Because our authoritative statements are based upon an answer to the question “Where stands it written?” But here we would be saying “The Scripture doesn’t really mean what it says.” And the next time we confront the culture based upon Scripture we will hear “Yes, but that’s what you said about homosexuality.” It amounts to a tacit denial of the perspicuity of Scripture in order to empower men to write their own rules.

    If the church knows nothing with authority, then it has no reason to exist. Why ponder questions that have no answers?

    • Most churches began surrendering this “authority” four generations ago.

      • Anton

        That’s when it stopped standing on scripture?

        • The Church stands on Christ, not scripture.

          • Anton

            That’s not an either/or.

          • Really?

          • Anton

            If you want to play rhetoric, scripture was written by the God the Holy Spirit through human authors, and God the Holy Spirit is the same God as Jesus Christ. I’m sure you know that.

          • Where does scripture say that it is the foundation of the Church?

          • Anton

            Where did I say it was? “Standing on” may simply mean “insist on”. But what did you mean about events four generations ago?

          • Lambeth Conference 1930.

          • Anton

            Not your obsession with contraception again! The first of the four generations to which you refer used it within marriage to the ends of their fertile lives and there was no sexual revolution. That is proof that an entire generation can live respectably with contraception within marriage, in contradiction to your repeated assertions.

          • That’s how evil works. Look where it headed once the birth control pill became widely available. Satan takes one step at a time.

          • Anton

            To quarantine evil, one has to draw a line in the sand. You draw it where the Pope does. I draw it where scripture does. The two lines are not in the same place.

          • len

            The church stands on the Rock which IS Christ .Christ being the Word of God is revealed through scripture.

          • Silly boy!
            How do we know anything about the Lord Jesus Christ save what is revealed to us in Scripture?

          • Silly boy!
            Where did scripture come from?

          • From God. Whence else (2 Timothy 3:16 etc.)?

          • Yes, but He left it to His Church to determine what went in and what was left out.

          • Er no. If He’d left it to His Church, or even worse, the Church of Rome, they’d have made a complete mess of it. ‘For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit’ (2 Peter 1:21).

          • You do know the Christian Church predated the New Testament?

          • Pubcrawler

            Luke 1.1-4 is a pretty good clue to that, I’d have thought…

  • The Explorer

    I see from a number of ‘This user is blocked’ entries that Eustace has been reasonably active on this thread.

    Although the entity behind Eustace has given us eight manifestations of himself, LInus was his defining moment.

    It was as Linus that he gave us his magnificent denunciation of the Christmas pudding, and all who eat it. It was as Linus that he delivered his most blistering verdicts on the British people, with particular contumely reserved for British womanhood and, within that sub section, for female British teachers.

    It was as Linus that he told us about his three residences in France, his engagement, and the countdown to his same-sex marriage.

    And it was as Linus that he made his most spectacular exit from the blog.

    Linus was the high water mark of his malevolence; a performance never to be repeated. Taken for all in all, we shall not look upon his like again.

    • len

      Linus has the mentality of one of the torturers of the inquisition. Imagines all the suffering he/she is causing.Don`t read the stuff its pure poison….
      Pray for him/her certainly, all that poison can only damage the soul of the bearer.

      Don`t make every thread about linus that’s all he wants…

      • The Explorer

        Let’s hope he’ll be pleased with this encomium.

  • Pubcrawler

    Both. He displayed a number of endearing orthographical quirks.